A painting of me

New Mac Mini.

   28 February 2006, lunch time

Thank you Jesus Jobs. I will have more to say about the new Apple products later.

Later: There are two new Intel based Mac Minis available today: one is an Intel Solo Core 1.5Ghz machine, the other is an Intel Dual Core 1.66Ghz machine. The second machine is interesting because it uses a Dual Core chip, the same breed of chip found in the iMac and the MacBook Pro. The old Minis shipped with G4 chips, whereas the iMacs and Powerbooks shipped with the more powerful G5s. In this way, the demarcation between the budget computers and the higher end computers was made quite clear. This new Mac Mini ships with a chip that may only be slightly slower than those found in the MacBook Pros and the iMacs. It is interesting to note that Apple didn’t only ship a Solo Core model—well interesting if you are a dork like myself. This was the cause of my initial excitement over the Mini’s announcement.

The problems with the Mini, as I see them, are its slower hard drive and integrated video card. It is still a budget computer. A 5400 rpm hard drive isn’t bad, but it isn’t that great either. For a lot of day to day tasks the faster hard drive will make a difference. (If you work with iMovie a lot, for example, you would see a substantial performance improvement with the faster drive.) The integrated video card is probably good enough for most people, but wouldn’t work for those people who want to play video games. One drawback of integrated cards is that the video card uses normal RAM as its video RAM. One would expect 64–128 megs of RAM in your machine to get gobbled up by the video card. Of course, you can just get 2 gigs of RAM, which I think everyone should have, and not worry at all, but it does add to the cost of the machine.

Beyond it’s lower price point, there is really nothing at all worthwhile about the first machine. However, you don’t really need a powerful machine to play video or listen to music. The cheap Mac Mini is pretty much the media centre everyone has been waiting for. Front Row on the Mini makes much more sense then it does on the iMac. I expect this to be what is most discussed over the next few days.

I am thinking about getting a new iMac. If you already have a nice monitor, then the dual core mini may not be a bad idea. You need to consider what you will use the computer for before making a decision, but I think for most people the Mini should be good enough.



  1. Hot damn, I just might have to get one. Although, after years of harrassing them for a product like this, I really should own one by now.

  2. If you already have a monitor, then dual core Mac Mini sounds like a good deal. If you don’t have a monitor, then the iMacs are probably a better bet.

  3. Do you plan to get a mac mini ram?

  4. I vote no on the mac mini, unless you maybe get the dual core. The 17” iMac just looks like a better deal, still. Unless you’ve a decent flat screen monitor sitting about.

  5. I’d agree with Ben. The dual-core Mini might be good if you have a nice monitor already, otherwise I think the iMac is still the way to go. (This was true of the last iteration as well.) I’m looking at iMacs. They look nice.

  6. Even if you have a monitor, the ~ $550 CAD difference gets you the equavalent of the iSight [$190] + X1600 [~ $150]. Also included is the needed DKM [$?? + $40 + $65], and you’re basically getting the 17” LCD for around $100 bucks.

    Where’s my credit card. It’s time I went back to my roots.

  7. I love my iMac more than words can express. Honestly it’s the best thing I ever bought, except maybe my 20D. Maybe. The other day, my mouse was slightly out of range and the cursor was buzzing back and forth on the screen, and I am so unused to computers being screwed up now that I actually thought something wrong with my eyes before I considered it might have something to do with my computer.

  8. Shared memory on the Mac mini. I won’t touch it.

  9. jobs so wants the mini hooked up to every living room with an lcd. apple even sued burst.com which has a pile of patents on video streaming.

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